Visual source: Newseum
Trump a Symptom of Romney's ProblemMichael Crowley/TIME:
That political dilemma for Romney is one that could repeat itself through Election Day. Next week, it could mean standing with evangelical leaders to denounce Planned Parenthood's federal funding. In a month, he might have to deliver a speech to fiscal hawks touting the virtues of Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal. And before Election Day, he could visit the country's border Arizona to reaffirm support for his hardline immigration agenda.
All positions are already part of the Romney agenda. But none is necessarily the kind of position Romney wants to take pains to highlight in a general election campaign. But as the GOP's rigorous, elongated primary proved, Romney is an unconvincing standard-bearer to many Republicans. As Brent Bozell, who runs the conservative Media Research Center, put it days after Rick Santorum's exit effectively handed Romney the nomination, "Mitt Romney will, ironically, win the nomination without securing his base."
A Tale of Two Economies: Mitt Romney vs. Republican GovernorsWho ya gonna believe? Hint: Romney is a serial liar, and generally on the losing end of that kind of question.
Mitt Romney’s losing gamble on Donald TrumpIf you have to have it explained, you're a Republican.
But here's the key point about that: No one taking the stances Romney needed to take to win this year could have had the sort of résumé needed to be a typical major party nominee. The Republican Party has been moving to the right very quickly in recent years. Almost no one taking the stances that Romney is taking now could have been elected as a senator or a governor from most states just a few years ago. So, if you were consistently conservative (like, say, Bachmann or Santorum), you were either doomed to service in the House or to being kicked out of the Senate. If you had a presidential résumé, conversely, it was probably because your views were pretty moderate a few years ago. Arguably, the only person who can get nominated in the current Republican Party is someone who has pivoted to the right rapidly in the past decade. Rapid polarization makes flip-flopping a necessity.Dana Milbank:
The time has come for Mitt Romney to prove it once and for all: Is he or is he not a unicorn?Yeah, there's a web site for that.
Let me stipulate that I have no proof that Romney is a unicorn, and indeed I want to believe that he is not. But I have not seen proof of this because he has not released the original copy of his long-form birth certificate.
Conor Friedersdorf writes in defense of Chris Hayes (and see Open thread for night owls: On Memorial Day, Chris Hayes was right):
Despite all this, Hayes is suddenly under fire for weekend remarks he made about heroism, war, and politics. Our public discourse is such that anyone can find him or herself viciously denounced by complete strangers based on a single sound-byte from which everyone extrapolates wildly. This controversy is worth highlighting because Hayes' words and the reaction to them helps explain why so few broadcasters forthrightly discuss complicated, controversial subjects. Hayes subsequently issued an apology, but it's his critics who've behaved badly.National Journal:
North Carolina and Virginia, once Southern vanguards of conservatism, helped elect a Democratic president for the first time in decades. Similarly, deep-red Indiana gave Obama the edge by a tiny, 0.9 percent margin.And unless and until WV and KY make the list, it'll remain a close race.
The new battleground encompasses 16 states, many of them put into play for the first time four years ago and one more, Arizona, that’s only recently been added to the list. How Obama and Republican Mitt Romney fare this year will help answer the question of whether the larger competitive map from 2008 was a fluke arising from a nationwide outburst of discontent with the party in power, or perhaps something more permanent, rooted in changing demographics.
We've lost a national treasure. Doc Watson has died at 89.
“He is single-handedly responsible for the extraordinary increase in acoustic flat-picking and fingerpicking guitar performance,” said Ralph Rinzler, the folklorist who discovered Mr. Watson in 1960. “His flat-picking style has no precedent in earlier country music history.”Watch Doc turn it up a notch at 3:04.
More tributes and videos in tharu1's diary here.